Friday, January 18, 2013

Scrutineer at rest

The gentleman with the clipboard in this photo is Art Grant, Chief of Scrutineering at the championships.

"Scrutineering" is the method the Organisers use to assure that the configuration, equipment, documents, and weights of the gliders are all within the rules. In the photo on the right, Art is explaining to Allan Barnes that the Australian kilogram is the same as a kilogram in Argentina.

Most of the work of a scrutineer is done before the first official day of the contest. Each glider is inspected, and if found in compliance with the rules, it is admitted to the competition.

Thereafter, it is a "trust but verify" policy. Art and his team have the right to re-inspect any glider at any time. It is said that Art can tell how much you weigh just by looking at you - and the pilots know this.

One might think that the ideal Chief Scrutineer would be an eremitic bureaucrat with a threatening demeanor and an attitude to match.

Nothing could be further from the truth in Art's case.

Art is an old fashioned gentleman with a ready smile. He is polite to all his pilots and discreet with their information. Consequently, he is one of the most respected figures in our sport. He is a fixture at international competitions, and we are lucky to have him at this one.

Art would be the first to tell you that all pilots are honest, and that he's doing the checks to protect them from frivolous claims to the contrary.

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